By Julie McKinney

Okay, so we have yet to experience the beautiful fall foliage season in the Hickory Nut Gorge and I’m already thinking spring? Yes! Because homeowners contemplating selling next year should begin preparing now to be ready for the spring/summer selling market. Now is the time to begin noticing all the “little things” you’ve been living with that really need to be fixed, updated, or refreshed to avoid being overwhelmed when you decide the time is right to list your home for sale.

It’s a common homeowner thing. We all have little things we know need to be repaired or replaced, and many of us know we’ll get around to it – someday. Even if you’re not planning a move, these minor irritations have become something you’re simply tolerating without even noticing. Doors that don’t close properly, cabinet doors that need adjustment, nicks in the walls or trim, dirty air filters (and the grates that conceal them), burned out light bulbs, loose door hardware, carpenter bee damage, carpet that should have been stretched or replaced years ago, cobwebs in the corners of your two-story living room ceiling . . . the list could go on.

The bottom line is this: the “little things” you don’t notice anymore are the very things a prospective buyer will notice almost immediately. So grab the toolbox and start fixing! Better you find it before a home inspector does and makes note of a seemingly silly repair. If your home is 15 – 20 years old pay attention to the mechanical systems. Is the heating/cooling system nearing the end of its life? Has the septic tank been pumped and the system inspected in the past few years? How old is the roof, and in what condition? Does the exterior have a good coat of paint or stain? Are there any issues in the crawl space or basement?

Don’t wait for spring to arrive to tackle little projects. Fall is a good time to at least make a list of the things you know need to be taken care of, then set a game plan for eliminating what could become “perceived problems”. When you decide to sell it will make your preparation time shorter and help you get a better price for your home.

 Julie McKinney is a broker with Lake Lure Professionals Realty Group. Call 828-625-2552 or e-mail